Slalom's Onboarding

Transforming the new hire experience with micro-learning, interactions, and operational efficiency.

Overview

Due to confidentiality as an internal project, I've omitted certain details and assets.

With the launch of Workday as Slalom's internal HR and learning platform, there was an opportunity to improve the onboarding experience.

As the program manager and instructional designer, I led the redesign of the experience in collaboration with onboarding leads, operations, and the technology teams.

Role

Responsibilities: Program management, change management, instructional design, user experience design.

Tools: Camtasia, Pardot, Articulate Storyline, Articulate Rise, Workday, Illustrator, Photoshop, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Teams

Impact

  • Onboarding learning resources in Workday Learning's Top 10 most accessed items

  • New hire survey participation increased by 50% and completion increased by 20%

  • Reduced the amount of days to set up new hires from 5 to 2 days

Process

Define the goals

Effective onboarding increases an employee's discretionary effort by more than 20% and their performance by up to 15%*.

Slalom's onboarding experience was welcoming, but inconsistent across its 25+ offices. Launching Workday as Slalom's internal HR and learning platform meant integrating all people experiences, including onboarding, into the platform.

Business goal: Meet Slalom's OKR to "do more as one" by building the Workday platform as a one-stop shop for people needs.

Audience: New hires (employees hired within the last six months), supporting onboarding teams (managers, operations, and onboarding leads)

Learning objectives:

New hires will be able to:

  • Explain Slalom's core values and how policies embody them

  • Easily find relevant documents, tools, and information for their onboarding

  • Define their role and responsibilities with their people manager

  • Know who or where to go to for specific questions for their onboarding

  • Feel connected with their team and Slalom communities

Onboarding support teams will be able to:

  • Set up the new hire for success before they start and throughout their first six months

  • Perform the needed logistics to support the core new hire experience

  • Know who to go to for specific questions in a new hire's experience

Deliverables:

  • Workday Onboarding dashboard

  • New hire and people manager support checklists

  • New hire communications

  • Onboarding operating model

  • Onboarding leads community website

*Source: CEB 2013 Selection Effectiveness Diagnostic Survey

The vision of the onboarding and Workday integration project.

Understand the landscape

Given the global scale of changes and lack of a formal program manager in the last couple years, there was a lot of unknowns. What challenges did current offices experience? What about new hires? I conducted user interviews and surveyed onboarding leads, people managers, and past new hires to understand the situation.

While new hires felt welcomed and connected, especially within their offices, there were some key challenges:

  • Inconsistent experiences and messaging across offices

  • Delayed system access for new hires (which meant they couldn't access certain sites or tools until a week later)

  • Too many systems for new hires to get set up

In partnership with the People Systems team that owned the Workday release, we focused on these key outcomes:

  • Personalize the experience for new hires

  • Support people managers and teams in successfully onboarding their new hires and being accountable

  • Create efficient processes for onboarding leads and operations in the offices

The journey map of the redesigned onboarding experience: supportive, accessible, and personal.

Create a supportive journey with just-in-time, just-for-me resources

Anchored on user research findings and Workday capabilities, I redesigned the new hire experience to be more just-in-time and just-for-me (see the journey map above).

New hires are welcomed before they even start with leader videos and access to the Workday onboarding dashboard.

Once they start and up till six months, they can use the dashboard to access timely checklists (day one, week one, month one, two, etc.) to complete key tasks and learning, attend New Hire Orientation, and asynchronous, bite-sized learning resources such as short videos of Slalom's business and culture, guided conversation templates with their manager about goal setting and performance, and more.

Throughout the six months, they will get automated emails from Workday focused on completing key goals for their onboarding at that moment so they're supported throughout the journey.

Below are the learning resources designed and developed to support this core experience.

[IMAGE: screenshot of onboarding dashboard; automated communications-delete sensitive info]

[IMAGE: screenshot of onboarding dashboard; automated communications-delete sensitive info]

[IMAGE: onboarding operating model]

Add operational efficiency for our teams

A great onboarding experience wouldn't be possible without the dedication of the support teams: people managers, onboarding leads, operations, and consultants.

I created the Onboarding Operation Model to provide structure, support, and clear responsibilities so people managers, onboarding leads, operations, and others can easily support the core experience within their offices.

[IMAGE: clear and consistent WHY; operating model; new hire support Rise course screenshot]

Building partnership among ch-ch-changes

This was a lot of change. People help own what they create. It was most important to get their buy-in to the new experience and operating model.

I led the change management of the onboarding redesign by conducting interviews with key stakeholders like the onboarding leads, people managers, recruiting, talent partners, and past new hires while keeping them informed of updates every quarter.We involved the onboarding leads and support teams in the design of the operating model and testing the new Workday experience.

I also facilitated quarterly meetings with our leads to provide updates on the new hire experience, gather their feedback, and provide 1:1 support.

I learned a lot about the right and wrong ways of navigating people through organizational change. I'm grateful for the mentors and teams like the Workday Change Team and People Systems Team for sharing their expertise and collaborating together on this global company initiative.

[IMAGE: surveys].

Build feedback channels

Measuring our success metrics was important.

I updated and expanded our onboarding surveys to capture new hire feedback in real-time after their first day, week, and the monthly. I worked with survey and data analysis experts on our team to shorten the surveys to 5 intentional questions.

Every quarterly, the data was provided to onboarding leads so they can iterate their experience in real-time.

Wrap

The redesigned onboarding and Workday experience was a global effort across teams. It continues to provide the foundation for a just-in-time, just-for-me experience in which new hires can easily find their onboarding resources in one spot while also having timely touch points throughout their first six months.

Beyond this project, I continued educating others about the experience and ensured other onboarding experiences in sales, talent acquisition, and more integrated with the core experience.

Impact

On myself

I learned that:

  • Getting people’s buy-in means bringing them along on the journey.

  • Your confidence and belief in your message matters to help others trust you in navigating change.

  • Focus on driving the key outcomes. You’re not going to please everyone and it’s ok.

On Slalom
  • Onboarding learning resources made 45% of the Top 10 most accessed items on Workday Learning

  • New hire survey participation increased 50% and completion increased 20%

  • 73% of new hires were neutral, agreed, or strongly agreed that Workday set them up with the knowledge and resources to be successful at Slalom

"As the Detroit local Onboarding Lead, Christina has been a pleasure to work with. She has facilitated cross office collaboration, listened and implemented requests from her team, and provided excellent support for the team’s questions. Thanks Christina for everything you do!"

Detroit Market Onboarding Lead / Slalom